What is direct mail?
A marketing effort that uses a mail service to deliver a promotional printed piece to your target audience . Direct mail encompasses a wide variety of marketing materials, including brochures, catalogues, postcards, newsletters and sales letters.
Direct mail differs from junk mail in that the recipients are carefully chosen on the basis of age, location income interests etc, whereas junk mail is a blanket mailing to people regardless of these factors.
Creating good mailing campaigns will increase sales, but also help you to understand your target customers, and develop longer relationships with them. It need not be expensive to make a start in this. Collecting customer data is the first step, then profiling this (working out what sort of customers/businesses they are). Then you can go and purchase data of similar prospects who may be interested in your company. This is faster than creating your own customer list, which may take many years. Remember to check the Mailing Preference Service if you are mailing consumers rather than businesses.
Direct Mail Variations
So what sort of Direct mail should you start with? The most cost effective is a postcard- simple, instant and your message is read whether or not they open letters. Avoid labels on envelopes- they look amateur. Ink jet names and addresses directly to your mailing piece.
Unlike other forms of advertising where you’re never sure just who’s getting your message, direct mail lets you communicate one-on-one with your target audience. That allows you to control who receives your message, when it’s delivered, what’s in the envelope and how many people you reach.
Follow-up is key. Mailings with telephone follow-ups are most effective. Don’t wait too long to contact your customers after doing your mailing: After a few days, call to ask if they’ve received your mail. If they have, now’s the time to make your sales pitch. If they haven’t, mail them another ASAP.
There was a time when Direct Mail and Email marketing were in competition- no more. It is not a question of either/or, it is Both…and. You must be doing Direct Mail marketing, email marketing, social media, and telephone if you are serious about building your business.
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